Budget 2023: More medical tax breaks as Health Ministry allocation climbs to RM36b
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Malaysians will get more tax relief for medical bills up to RM10,000 from the tax assessment year of 2023 onwards, an increase from the initial RM8,000, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced today.
In his Budget 2023 speech today, Anwar said this tax relief will also be expanded to cover up to RM4,000 of the costs of recovery for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, Down Syndrome, and Specific Learning Disabilities.
Noting that the Malaysian government was increasing the allocation for healthcare from RM32.4 billion last year to RM36.3 billion, Anwar said this is the second-highest allocation in the budget for this year.
The main component of this RM36.3 billion for the healthcare budget will go towards the procurement of medicine, reagents, vaccines and disposable materials and will also include a RM3 billion allocation for new permanent and contract appointments of more than 1,500 medical officers, dental officers and pharmacists.
Anwar said the government will allocate RM80 million to enhance the PeKa B40 scheme — a scheme first introduced in 2019 for early health screenings for the B40 income group.
To tackle overcrowding in government health facilities, Anwar said several steps will be taken, such as optimising capacity by outsourcing outpatients from crowded hospitals to other hospitals such as university hospitals, military hospitals and private hospitals.
He said the federal government will also introduce the Madani healthcare scheme specifically for the poor to obtain medical treatment in private clinics and at private general practitioners as has been done by the Selangor state government, with RM120 million allocated for this new healthcare scheme.
He said the government is proposing for charitable hospitals registered as companies limited by guarantee to be given income tax exemption equivalent to the amount spent for charitable expenses, while donors to such hospitals will also be given up to 10 per cent in tax reliefs.
Other steps to address overcrowding at government hospitals will include preliminary works to upgrade 26 hospitals including expanding the Kuala Kangsar hospital in Perak, the hospital in Jelebu in Negeri Sembilan and also the Pontian hospital in Johor which was almost a decade-old.
To reduce overcrowding in Hospital Melaka, the government will be building a RM700 million block for women and children patients with a 476-bed capacity, he said.